Prism Comics Unfurls Ambitious Comic-Con 2011 Schedule
Includes Buffy and X-Men Panels, Superhero Party, Fan Mixer and Silent Auction Featuring Original Artwork By Alex Ross and Dan Parent
SAN DIEGO, CA — Prism Comics, the premier nonprofit supporting LGBT comics, creators, and readers, has unleashed its schedule for Comic-Con International 2011 in San Diego, taking place Wednesday, July 20th through Sunday, July 24th. The Con will not only feature an unprecedented four Prism-sponsored panels—with LGBT takes on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the X-Men plus two LGBT publishing panels—but also Andy Mangels’ 24th annual “Gays in Comics” panel, a fan mixer with silent auction, a Superhero Party, and portfolio reviews and creator signings all weekend.
“Queer themes in comics have come a long way since Prism began exhibiting many years ago,” says Ted Abenheim, Prism’s Events Chair, “and we’re proud to be representing a wide range of LGBT comics and creators who have been part of that change. The Prism Comics booth—now exapnded to three spaces, has become ‘LGBT Central’ at Comic-Con for fans, professionals and retailers. We’re grateful to Comic-Con for providing this opportunity for diversity. Most of all we’re looking forward to having fun and sharing what we all have in common: a love of comics.”
The Prism Comics Booth
The Prism Comics booth (#2144) boasts the largest and most comprehensive collection of LGBT comics for sale anywhere, and will be the site for creator signings and portfolio review by top professionals from both the indies and majors including Phil Jimenez, Gail Simone (pictured), Bob Schreck, Eric Shanower, Michael Troy, Iceman Blue, and more. The booth is also acting as a de facto LGBT small press pavilion for top LGBT creators, including Brian Andersen, Dave Davenport, J.D. Glass, Jeff Krell, Ed Luce, Steve MacIsaac, Brad Rader, and Sean-Z, plus LGBT publishers Northwest Press and Poseur Ink, LGBT fan site Fanboys of the Universe, and Paige Braddock’s “Jane’s World”.
New LGBT comics debuting at Comic-Con include the anti-bullying comic The Power Within from Northwest Press, Brian Andersen’s Friend of Dorothy #2 and Adam Fair‘s This Gay Existence #3, Ed Luce’s Wuvable Oaf #3 in regular and special editions, Megan Gedris’s YU+ME: dream books 5 & 6, Tab Kimpton’s Khaos Komix Book 2, Mike Schmidt’s Material Girl, and Jeff Krell’s Jayson Comics #1 – Convention Exclusive.
For those applying for the Prism Comics Queer Press Grant, which was established by Prism in 2005 to encourage the publication of new LGBT comics, Prism is offering portfolio review from Noon to 2:00pm, Thursday through Sunday. Reviewers this year include J.D. Glass, Jon Macy, Justin Hall, Bob Schreck, Phil Jimenez and Gail Simone. Check the website or the booth for the latest schedule. Before arriving at the Con, applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the submissions guidelines at prismcomics.org/grant.
Four Panel Discussions, plus “Gays in Comics”
Prism is proud to present four official panels at this year’s Comic-Con. Buffy and X-Men fans can rejoice with Prism’s queer look at these two cultural phenomenons, while its publishing and Bent Comix panels explore the worlds of DIY and small press. Prism Comics is also proud to support Andy Mangels’ legendary “Gays In Comics” panel, which will present comics superstars Robert Kirkman, Chip Kidd, Greg Pak, Jon Macy and more. Descriptions of each panel follow:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and LGBT Comics Fandom: Thursday, July 21, 5:00-6:00pm. LGBT fans hailed the revelation in the long-running television hit that one of its main characters, Willow, had fallen in love with another female character, Tara. This groundbreaking depiction of queer love in the TV show has been built upon in the Buffy comic books published by Dark Horse Comics, and Buffy remains one of the most queer-friendly properties in pop culture. Moderator Charles “Zan” Christensen (Prism Comics president) discusses the special relationship between the Buffyverse and LGBT comic book fans with Buffy creators and actors, including Scott Allie, Andrew Chambliss, Jane Espenson, Drew Greenberg, Tom Lenk (pictured), and Sierra Hahn, plus you never know if a special guest will appear! Room 32AB
LGBTX: The X-Men’s Queer Characters, Themes, and Fans: Thursday, July 21, 6:00-7:00pm. The X-Men and their universe have always been popular with LGBT comics fans. The idea of mutants is seen as an allegory for the reality of difference and persecution, as well as community and power, experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. The X-Men have also included compelling queer characters in their roster, including the first gay superhero, Northstar. How have these themes and characters been handled? What are the plans for the future? Moderator Chance Whitmire (Fanboys of the Universe) tries to make sense of it all with panelists Peter David (X-Factor, pictured), Phil Jimenez (Astonishing X-Men), Chuck Kim (Age of X), Marjorie Liu (Daken: Dark Wolverine), Scott Lobdell (Uncanny X-Men), and Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class). Room 32AB
Publishing Queer: Producing LGBT Comics and Graphic Novels: Friday, July 22, from 1:00-2:00pm. Queer-themed comics, once solely the domain of the gay press, are breaking into the mainstream. What are the challenges and rewards of producing this work and getting it in front of an audience hungry for the material? How can it be marketed and publicized, both to an LGBT readership and beyond? Should queer cartoonists self-publish or look to established publishers? Moderator Justin Hall (Glamazonia: The Uncanny Super-Tranny, Prism Comics Talent Chair) leads a spirited conversation with a diverse panel of publishing pros: Brian Andersen (self-publisher, So Super Duper), Charles “Zan” Christensen (publisher, Northwest Press), Jacquelene Cohen (publicist, Fantagraphics), Shannon O’Leary (comics editor and journalist), Bob Schreck (editor-in-chief, Legendary Pictures), and Tony Valenzuela (executive director, Lambda Literary Foundation). Room 9
Bent Comix: The Next Wave of Gay Cartooning: Saturday, July 23, 4:00-5:00. A small band of independent gay cartoonists joined forces in 2008 to create Bent Comix. Initially intended as a distribution cooperative, Bent has morphed into something much more dynamic: a true creative community. Last year they created Bent Con, the world’s first queer comics show. Now they’re expanding the convention, their membership, and their mission. In a world where the queer media are disintegrating and publishing is a risky venture, Bent Comix shines a light. Moderator J. D. Glass (Core, Prism Comics Secretary) grills the panelists about their part in creating the future of gay comics. They include Dave Davenport (Hard to Swallow), Jeff Krell (Jayson), Steve MacIsaac (Shirtlifter), Brad Rader (Harry and Dickless Tom), Jody Wheeler (DoorQ.com), and Sean-Z (Myth). Room 4
Gays in Comics: Year 24!: Saturday, July 23, 5:30-7:00pm. Comic-Con International’s longest-running panel, now in its 24th year, boasts an incredible lineup of guests from DC, Marvel, Image, Archie, and the world of independents, making this year’s panel a must-attend event. Founding moderator Andy Mangels, the USA Today best-selling author of Star Trek novels and Iron Man: Beneath The Armor as well as numerous comic books, welcomes a top-level panel of LGBT and straight creators, who will give amazing insights and glimpses of surprises to come. This year’s guests include Robert Kirkman, writer of The Walking Dead and Invincible and head of Image Comics’ Skybound imprint; Chip Kidd, award-winning author, editor and designer of books such as Bat-Manga, Rough Justice, and Jack Cole and Plastic Man; Dan Parent, writer and artist for Archie and Betty & Veronica, and creator of Archie’s new gay character and series, Kevin Keller; Jon Macy, writer and artist of 2010 Lambda Literary Award-winning Teleny and Camille and Prism Comics Queer Press grant recipient for Fearful Hunter; Paul Cornell, writer for TV’s Doctor Who and DC Comics’ upcoming Stormwatch and Demon Knights series; Greg Pak, writer of Incredible Hulks and co-writer of Alpha Flight and Herc; plus, a special video appearance by J.H. Williams III, co-writer and artist of DC’s Batwoman series! Plus, there’s always a surprise or two… Room 6A
The Prism Comics Mixer and Silent Auction
After the “Gays in Comics” panel, stick around for the hour-long gay mixer/social where comics fans and creators can mingle, enter the special drawing for a “Comics Gift Basket”, and bid in the silent auction for must-have items including original art by Alex Ross, Dan Parent (artwork pictured), Phil Jimenez, Carla Speed McNeil, Stephen Sadowski, and much much more, all to benefit Prism Comics and to raise funds for the Queer Press Grant.
The Annual Superhero Party at Rich’s San Diego
Join Prism at the annual Superhero Party scheduled for Friday, July 23, 9:30pm-2:00am at Rich’s Dance Club San Diego, located in San Diego’s Hillcrest district at 1051 University Avenue. There will be a costume contest, drink specials, surprise guests and more!
For the latest details on Prism’s activities, go to prismcomics.org or drop by the Prism booth to pick up The Gay Agenda, Prism’s guide to everything LGBT at the Con. San Diego Comic-Con International is located at the San Diego Convention Center at 111 W. Harbor Drive. For more information, go to comic-con.org/cci.
Prism Comics is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that promotes LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) creators, characters, themes and readers in the comic book field. Along with convention appearances, Prism awards an annual Queer Press Grant, and maintains a website (prismcomics.org) with LGBT creator listings and features on all that’s queer in comics.